Royals

The Queen Puts 17 Years of Speculation About Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to Rest

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Ever since Camilla Parker-Bowles wed Prince Charles in 2005, there has been debate about what she will be called when her husband eventually takes the throne. Though she married the Prince of Wales, Camilla has never styled herself as the Princess of Wales — a title still widely used to refer to the late Princess Diana — instead going by her Duchess of Cornwall title.

Royal fans and critics alike have insisted for decades that a divorcee and “mistress” would simply never be allowed to bear the title of queen, suggesting Camilla may choose — or be required — to go by an alternative when Charles eventually becomes king. But now the Queen herself has put 17 years of speculation to bed, announcing that Britain and the Commonwealth will soon have a “Queen Camilla.”

Camilla Parker Bowles and the Queen
Getty Images

In an official statement shared to mark the beginning of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Queen revealed it is her wish that Camilla take on the styling of queen consort when Charles takes the throne. Reflecting on the support Prince Philip offered her through their 73-year-marriage, the Queen wrote: “I was blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it. It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.”

The 95-year-old went on to thank the public for 70 years of support through her historic reign, then turned her attention to her daughter-in-law.

“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service,” the Queen wrote.

The statement made headlines around the world as news outlets, royal reporters and the public reacted to “Queen Camilla”, a title many had suggested the Queen herself would never allow. Other royals also responded to the announcement, Prince Charles chief among them as he released his own statement supporting his mother’s decision.

Writing on behalf of himself and Camilla, the future king said: “We are deeply conscious of the honor represented by my mother’s wish. As we have sought together to serve and support Her Majesty and the people of our communities, my darling wife has been my own steadfast support throughout.”

Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate Middleton showed their support for Camilla’s future as Queen Consort by “‘liking” the Queen’s statement when it was shared on social media. It was clear from the royal family’s coordinated response that the Queen’s announcement and Camilla’s future as Queen consort had been discussed ahead of time, with the support of other key senior royals. And while the news settled decades of public speculation, it was met with division and a healthy dose of criticism — something the monarchy likely expected.

Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms were flooded with posts lambasting “Queen Camilla”, some even calling the announcement a publicity stunt. A particularly vocal group of social media users pointed out the Queen’s statement was released shortly after it was announced that Prince Andrew would face deposition in a US sex abuse case against him.

Skeptics claimed the “Queen Camilla” statement had been pushed out to shift attention away from Andrew, who has been embroiled in scandal over his connections to Jeffrey Epstein since 2019. Other critics insisted the Queen’s decision to endorse Camilla’s future styling as Queen consort will push Commonwealth nations like Australia to become a republic, due to poor public sentiment.

Camilla Parker Bowles
Getty Images

Some even slammed the news as “disrespectful” to the memory of Princess Diana, who tragically died in a car crash in 1997 one year after she and Charles divorced. However, there were also vocal supporters of the move who insisted that Camilla had more than earned the title after 17 years of hard work, royal duties and supporting Charles.

“Queen Camilla was always going to have to happen. She is a good royal, who does good work. She deserves her proper title when the time comes,” one fan tweeted. Discussion has continued on social media in the wake of the Queen’s announcement and shows no sign of slowing, but even as royal critics and fans debate the title, one thing is for sure. One day, and it may be sooner than later, the world will see Camilla, Queen consort take her place at King Charles’ side.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.

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